Hello, my name is Emre. I'm a 3rd year graduate student in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. This website is mostly dedicated to the subject component of the general exam. I built most of this website while I was studying for the exam. I am trying to expand the content to include as many questions as possible. You should also check Alta's generals binder for questions from previous years.
During my preparation for the subject component of the exam, I have had the opportunity to interact with most of the faculty in my fields. In materials science I got interviewed by Barrie Royce before my first exam. During my preparations for the second time I had interviews with Dan Steingart and Andrej Kosjmrl. Both of these were very extensive (more than 2 hours each) interviews. My examiner was Craig Arnold. Also my advisor by that time, Wole Soboyejo, helped me to get prepared. In fluid mechanics I had interviews with Clancy Rowley, Howard Stone, Markus Hultmark, Michael Mueller, and Lex Smits. My examiner in this area was Dan Nosenchuck.
Questions in this website include my interactions with the faculty and friends. In addition to questions raised during my official and unofficial interviews I also put some canonical questions in both fields. I didn't have an organized source while I was studying for this exam, therefore I thought this site would help you in preparing.
Questions here span the following classes:Materials Science:
MSE 501: Introduction to Materials Science
MSE 502: Phase Transformation in Metals and Alloys
MSE 505: Characterization of Materials
MAE 562: Fracture Mechanics
MSE 551: Fluid Mechanics
MSE 552: Viscous Flow and Boundary LayersI took the questions and answers from many different sources (experience, friends' experience, previous generals questions, lecture notes, books). Therefore I do not own anything on this website. If you see something that belongs to you and you do not want it to be on this side, please let me know, I will remove it.
Some notes on the whole process: Assuming that you're already a very hardworking student, generals are usually going very smoothly and it is very likely that you will pass. Pass / fail ratio varies from year to year. In our year we had 5 students out of 16 who need to retake the exam including one that had to postpone it to May due to poor interview performance. According to my experience and what I observed so far, these are situations that you need to stay away from (if you can):
In addition to these, you may have to tailor your studies according to who your examiner is after you finish studying the fundamentals of your field. Examiners have different expertise and they will ask you questions mostly related to the classes they teach. So this may be a point to consider for you while you're filling the examiner request form. Also talk to senior students about their experience with the examiner you want.
If you failed the general exam, click here